4 tight ends to help Bengals fans forget about Hayden Hurst
By Glenn Adams
3. Darnell Washington
Another great option, if the Bengals decide to the draft route, would be Georgia tight end Darnell Washington.
The former Bulldog proved to be very versatile while playing at Georgia. He lined up as an in-line tight end, split tight end, receiver, wing, and fullback.
Washington is unquestionably the best run and pass blocker of this year’s tight-end class. However, his talents as a receiver are strangely, perhaps purposely, being overlooked and downplayed.
His 16.2 yards per catch led all the top tight end prospects in the 2023 draft. However, his target share of 8.4% was a lot lower than the other top options at the position. If we were to extrapolate his target rate, catch rate, yards, and reception numbers over the same amount of targets as Michael Mayer (107) or Dalton Kincaid (96), we would be talking about him being one of the best tight-end prospects in recent history.
This extrapolation is what many are doing with Zack Kuntz, and rightly so. We should do the same with Washington.
Washington’s athletic score is second only to Old Dominion’s Zack Kuntz. Furthermore, while Kuntz's athletic score was the best ever for the tight end position, Washington's was the ninth-best, ever.
Whichever team gets Washington in the draft is going to get an excellent, yet somehow underrated tight end. If the Bengals were to select him 28th overall, which looks less likely every hour we approach the draft, he would go a long way to helping us put Hurst in the review mirror.